The word "unique" is probably overused. In the case of Natalie Oden, it is justified. Natalie has a timeless look that transcends genres. No matter what she is wearing, be it a high-fashion with a big bold hat, or a simple peasant look, she makes it work...makes it legit..makes it pop.
As a photographer, I appreciate her authentic expressions and poses, and the quiet manner in which she does her work. When I first met and photographed Natalie, I was not aware that she was autistic. During the shoot I noticed her behavior was different. She did not say much, in fact, only responded to my questions and direction, never engaging in conversation. I saw her as introverted, and maybe even not happy with the way the shoot was going. After that shoot was finished, I mentioned this to her father, Charles. It was then that I learned she was autistic, and the behavior that I observed was common. Now knowing this, and looking at the work that Natalie has done with me and other photographers, I am even more impressed by what she is able to do as a model. When shooting with Natalie I know that magic is always just around the corner, and I better be ready to capture it.
As a fellow human being, I appreciate Natlie's sweetness, innocence, and dignity. It is always a pleasure working with her, and I am grateful to be able to call her my friend and muse.Jack Houser, Photographer